Wednesday, July 7, 2010

All-Star Contest: A bit of research required

The All-Star game is next week. Could this be the year the NL rises above the AL dominance?
In honor of the big game, I will have a little contest. Winner gets cards of their favorite team, blah-blah, etc. I don't know what, but its FREE!

Answer the following question:
Who is the best player to never be an MLB All-Star?

Remember:
1. The All-Star game started in 1933. Don't choose someone who played before then or who had there best years before then.
2. Do your research and give me some rationale. Your strong opinion may sway my decision.
3. I will choose the "correct" answer from all entries. (I don't know the answer but I do know that it is not Rick Dempsey.)
4. First person to name each player has dibs on that player.
5. Entry deadline is the first pitch of the 2010 All-Star game.

Go NL!!!

9 comments:

SpastikMooss said...

This is going to sound wrong...but the best active player to never play in an all star game is Eric Chavez, at least according to WAR: http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/WAR_active.shtml.

At 39th among active players with 35.80 WAR, Chavez has the highest WAR of any active player who has never played in an all star game. Consider that the guy hasn't played over 90 games since 2006, and it makes his early career just that much more impressive. From 2001 to 2006, this dude really was one of the best 3B in baseball, earning 6 straight golden gloves, 1 silver slugger, and MVP votes in 4 straight seasons.

No all star game nods though. So that's why he's getting my vote among active players (if I have time I may find the highest lifetime WAR among retired+active players...but right now I'm doing hw, so Chavez is my entry).

SpastikMooss said...

Further research helped me find the highest WAR of a retired guy - Tony Phillips and his 48.2 career WAR, 12.4 better than Eric Chavez and tied for 267th all time.

And he officially has the highest WAR of any non-All Star game player, post invention of the All Star Game, in all of history. Tom Candiotti has the second most, with 41 WAR. I think Chavez is third, but I'm not 100% sure on that part.

Nevertheless, my vote stays with Chavez. Much of Phillips' and Candiotti's WAR comes with longevity/long careers. I'd argue that Chavez was the better player at his peak, and that, to me, makes him the greatest player never to make an All Star Game.

k said...

I'd say the best player never to make the all-star game is Don Larsen. Although not blowing anyone away with a career 81-91 record and 3.78 E.R.A., Larsen achieved immortality by being in the only pitcher in baseball history to throw a perfect game in the World Series. Larsen also had a starting rotation role on dominant 1950's Yankees teams and earned two World Series rings in 1956 and 1958. Larsen was the 1956 World Series MVP winner and the winner of the 1956 Babe Ruth Award. In 1976, Larsen received 12.1% of the vote for an induction to the baseball Hall Of Fame, more than most perennial all-stars. No matter who you root for, Larsen's perfect game lives in baseball legend and his decent pitching record is sometimes put by the wayside. Simply, Larsen was clutch, Larsen had nasty stuff, and Larsen's name will live in baseball legend.

Don said...

I started to nominate a player who was named as an All-Star but never played, but decided that it would be against the rules. In that case I will nominate Mickey Stanley. Stanley is most known as the player who Mayo Smith shifted to shortstop so that Kaline would be able to play in the 68 World Series. What is little known is that in 68 Stanley won the first of 3 straight gold glove awards, and would win a fourth in 1973. He did have his best overall season in 1968, finishing 25th in the MVP voting. He placed among the league leaders in triples twice, in 1970 and 1972.

STanley would spend his entire 15 year career as a Detroit Tiger, spending his final few seasons as a super utility player.

TheBrooklynMet said...

I am going to go with Kurt Gibson. He won the freakin' MVP in 88 and didn't make the all star team? That is crazy. Plus he hit that HR we all know about.

Dusto said...

I'm going to throw a vote in for Tim Salmon. Wezen-ball.com had a good article discussing this topic and using one of our favorite resources: baseballreference.com. Wezen gives it up to Tony Phillips by win shares, which Salmon comes in third for. However, Salmon had great power, was one homerun from 300 at retirement. If being one away from this milestone wasn't enough tragedy, let's pile on his all-star snub. He had a career batting average of .282 and a slugging of .498. Just take a look at baseballreference.com, and anyone will see many years of all-star efforts.

Maybe I'm biased since I grew up watching Salmon, was around for his Rookie of the Year award, remember when his 1991 Bowman card was the card to have. Anyway, there's my vote. Great contest.

SpastikMooss said...

Man, I skipped over Salmon and Gibson in my search because I assumed they had been in All Star Games at some point. Chavez finished behind both of them in WAR as well.

gcrl said...

clearly it is eric karros. karros had a solid career, is the la dodgers franchise leader in home runs, and even had some good first half numbers a couple of times (1995, 1996 and 1999 come to mind). the fact that he played in such a large media market and didn't make the team is a testament to the competition he had at first base (mcgriff, grace, bagwell), along with how bad the dodger teams were during his tenure (aside from 95/96), meaning that piazza got the call and not many others.

thewritersjourney said...

I was going to say Adam Dunn, but he was named to the team early in his career. Back to baseball-reference.com.....